The National Fatherhood Leaders Group (NFLG), a consortium of the leading fatherhood organizations in the U.S., is teaming up with VH1 on the premiere of the television network’s upcoming original series “Dad Camp,” which focuses on encouraging responsible fatherhood, featuring licensed psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere.
The partners’ goal is to generate awareness and discussion around the importance of fathers in children’s lives. The cornerstone of the collaboration is the promotion of national “Watch Parties” for the series premiere on Monday, May 31 at 10:30 PM ET/PT on VH1. Participating fatherhood groups are now mobilizing their constituents and asking them to create and promote local viewing events tied to the premiere to spark discussion around the country about responsible fatherhood and the challenges that young men face today.
The National Fatherhood Leaders Group members include:
- Center for Urban Families
- Celebrate Dads
- National Center for Fathering
- National Center on Fathers and Families
- National Fatherhood Initiative
- National Partnership for Community Leadership
- Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being
- Brookings Institute
- National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute
- Fathers Incorporated
In the series “Dad Camp,” licensed psychologist and no-nonsense therapist Dr. Jeff Gardere works with six fathers-to-be, along with their pregnant girlfriends, to help prepare the young men for fatherhood — a responsibility that they’re just not ready for yet. Throughout the course of the series, the young fathers will face the inevitable truth: A baby is coming soon, whether they like it or not. Through parenting classes, personal challenges around responsibility, and intense couples and group therapy sessions, each couple will learn the importance of selflessness and the commitment they must make to their unborn child. “Dad Camp” is produced by 3 Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA, producers of the hit television series “The Biggest Loser.”
In addition, the National Fatherhood Leaders Group has developed a discussion guide to help facilitate conversations about the issues brought up in the show, including the economic and emotional demands of being a parent. The guide will be found on all of the partners’ web sites, as well as “20 Reasons Why A Child Needs An Active Father In Their Life,” which provide research findings that support the needs for young fathers to embrace parenthood. The sites will also feature resource pages, linking readers directly to information, advice and support regarding responsible fatherhood. VH1’s “Dad Camp” dedicated site is at www.dadcamp.vh1.com.
“We were inspired last year by President Obama’s words to young men reminding them that fatherhood doesn’t end at conception. Being a parent, whether you’re ready for it or not, is a major issue that many of our young adult VH1 viewers face,” said Tom Calderone, President, VH1. ”We so appreciate the dedicated and resourceful members of the National Fatherhood Leaders Group and thank them all for helping to amplify the message behind ‘Dad Camp’ — that it really takes two committed parents to successfully fulfill a child’s potential.”
“Our organizations’ efforts are motivated by the national conversation that President Obama started about the necessity of responsible fatherhood in our society,” said Dr. Jeffery Johnson, Vice Chairman of the National Fatherhood Leaders Group and President and CEO of the National Partnership for Community Leadership. ”To us, ‘Dad Camp’ illustrates the challenges that many young fathers face today and helps provide ideas for some solutions. We’re happy to elevate this issue and create dialogue around it across the country.”
The National Fatherhood Leaders Group is a coalition of national and community-based fatherhood organizations and allied groups. Our mission is to raise awareness of the importance of two involved parents in the lives of children and to strengthen the capacity of the responsible fatherhood field. We seek to help children by helping their parents build strong families. Almost 40 percent of children in the United States are born to unmarried parents, and often both parents have low incomes. Many children who grow up without their fathers struggle and are vulnerable to a number of negative risk factors. The public costs of father absence on children are substantial, including poverty, low academic achievement, juvenile delinquency, and early pregnancy. www.nflgonline.org.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 95 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mobile and extensive video on VH1.com. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom ( VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Shockwave, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.
Dr. Jeff Gardere, better known as America’s Psychologist, is one of the most widely sought-after experts in the field of parenting and relationships. Dr. Jeff obtained a doctorate in philosophy and psychology at George Washington University and became a chief psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
He later founded a clinical practice in Manhattan focusing on the mental health needs of families. In addition to his private practice, he has garnered a reputation as being a top motivational and keynote speaker, and empowerment and media coach. Dr. Jeff has authored several books, including his controversial book, “Love Prescription.” He is also the co-author of “Practical Parenting” with Montel Williams. Dr. Jeff’s first book, “Smart Parenting for African-Americans: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Difficult World” has been lauded as being “necessary for raising African-American children in today’s society.” Dr. Jeff is also a monthly columnist for “Sister 2 Sister Magazine.”